When Ken Morris started out in the furniture business, he had $10,000 to his name. That was in 1983. As I write this in 2006, Ken's net worth is $10 million.
It took him 23 years to become a multimillionaire. Why, then, am I including him in a book titled Seven Years to Seven Figures? Because, in fact, he made his first million in a very short period of time.
Every business has its secrets. The furniture business is no exception. Ken sold antique furniture for four years in south Florida before he realized that his business had a fundamental flaw. For each piece of antique furniture, Ken could only hope to find one customer. That's because, no matter how handsome or special or expensive an antique may be, it can be in only one place. So an antique armoire could fetch a decent price—but only once.
When Ken pinpointed this fundamental flaw, he resolved to fix it. He experimented with several "not so good ideas" for several years—and then, in 1989, hit upon the one that transformed his future.
Ken's idea was to create high-quality reproductions of the best and most popular types of antiques and sell them at a fraction of the price the originals were selling for. "Antique furniture, particularly country pine antiques, was very popular back then," Ken remembered. "But when the demand increased, so did the prices. Most of my customers, I realized, weren't collectors at all. They simply ...